House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Sept. 23 threatened to introduce a motion to oust House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) if she attempts to impeach President Donald Trump or Attorney General William Barr to delay the Senate in confirming Trump’s Supreme Court pick.
Pelosi on Sept. 20 was asked on ABC News about whether impeachment could be used as an option to prevent the Supreme Court nomination. She replied: “We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now.”
McCarthy made mention of Pelosi’s comment, saying Trump is correct in moving forward with a new Supreme Court justice nomination, which came after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Sept. 18.
“The president is supposed to move forward, and they will. The Senate is supposed to take the action, and they will—it’s their constitutional right and they are following through,” he told reporters in Washington.
“I will make you this one promise, listening to the speaker on television this weekend, if she tries to move for an impeachment based upon the president following the Constitution, I think there will be a move on the floor to have her no longer, or the question of her being speaker. She may think she has a quiver. We do, too.”
Trump on Sept. 21 said he would go ahead with the process to nominate a justice, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would hold a vote on Trump’s pick. Meanwhile, several key senators, including Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), signaled they would vote for Trump’s pick.
Top Democrats have been highly critical of Trump and McConnell’s move, saying that McConnell blocked former President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland after Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a televised interview on Sept. 22 that his caucus “will use every tool in the toolkit” to block the confirmation.
“Today, we delayed committees going into effect. We had the right to do that and we did it. Tonight, we’re on the floor taking up all the time on the floor to talk about how bad this potential nominee—and there will be many other things that we can use. You’ll see them in the days ahead,” he said.
It came after McConnell on Sept. 22 predicted that the Senate fight would be especially trying.
“Two years ago, a radical movement tried to use unproven accusations to ruin a man’s life because they could not win a vote fair and square,” McConnell said on the Senate floor, referring to the contested confirmation process for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. “Now they appear to be readying an even more appalling sequel. This time, the target will not just be the presumption of innocence for one American, but our very governing institutions themselves.”
On Sept. 21, McConnell repeated his own comments from February 2016: “The Senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was a divided government since 1888, almost 130 years ago.” He meant a Senate controlled by the party opposite to that of the president hasn’t replaced a Supreme Court seat in a presidential election year for nearly 130 years.
Pelosi’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.